Dark circles under our eyes are an issue that many of us struggle with. So, I’m keeping today’s blog post short and sweet, and focusing on just one easy facial massage technique you can use to reduce dark circles.
This simple massage is also great for relieving puffiness around the eye area. And it feels beautifully soothing, so it is a wonderful way to start or finish your day on a calm, relaxed note.
There are lots of different causes for dark circles under the eyes. Tiredness is the classic one – not getting enough sleep often shows up as puffiness and dark circles in the eye area.
Eye strain is another cause. Too much time in front of screens can leave the skin around our eyes looking darker. Too much sun exposure can also cause dark circles, as can dehydration and suffering from allergies.
For some of us, being prone to dark circles has a lot to do with our genetics. And we all tend to notice dark circles around our eyes more as we age and our skin becomes more delicate.
Whatever the cause of your dark circles, this soothing facial massage technique should help.
Massage for Dark Circles
Make sure you have clean hands before you start. You might like to apply a little bit of eye gel, eye cream, or a moisturising serum to the skin around your eyes too. This helps your fingers move more easily over your skin without dragging it.
Take your ring fingers and place them just under your eyebrows. As gently as you can, smooth them in circles around your eye area, coming down to just above your cheekbones and then back up to just under your eyebrows.
Continue to massage in this circular motion for around a minute. You can watch this video guide if you’d like to see a demonstration of the move in action.
It is extremely important to go very gently when you use this technique. Keep your touch featherlight. This is why we use our ring fingers – it might feel a little odd at first but using this finger instead of your index finger will help you to keep your touch light and gentle.
I also find it helpful to sit in front of a mirror when I use this massage technique. It means I can check that I’m not accidentally pressing too hard and dragging at the skin.
One reason it is so vital to use a gentle touch when working with the eye area is that the skin here is extremely delicate. It’s around ten times thinner than the skin elsewhere on our faces. We don’t want to drag this delicate skin – the goal with face yoga is always to reduce lines and wrinkles, not cause new ones!
Another reason we want to go lightly with this massage technique is that we’re targeting the lymphatic system. As you might know, the skin has three layers – the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis.
The lymphatic system sits just beneath the top layer of skin, the epidermis. So, we don’t need to press at all hard to stimulate lymphatic drainage. In fact, we want to work very gently.
If you’re pressing hard enough to drag at the skin as you massage, you’re probably getting down into the muscle instead, which isn’t the aim of this technique. We want to encourage lymphatic drainage because a build-up of lymph in the eye area can often cause puffiness and dark circles.
This simple massage is also great for boosting blood flow to the skin’s surface. In turn, that fresh blood brings with it plenty of oxygen and nutrients, helping to feed, nourish, and brighten your skin.
Make it a Daily Habit
Like any of my face yoga techniques, this massage will bring you the most benefit when you do it regularly. I recommend doing around a minute every day to reduce dark circles and relieve puffiness.
I always find starting small with a new habit is the thing that makes it most sustainable. Yes, spending ten to twenty minutes on face yoga each day is ideal. But if you’re new to this form of self-care, finding time to massage your eyes for a minute each day probably sounds much more doable.
You can always start to bring in more techniques as you go on. For example, I have a quick four-minute face yoga class on my YouTube channel that is dedicated to reducing dark circles and puffiness around the eyes.
I also share lots more face yoga techniques in my two books, Danielle Collins’ Face Yoga Book and the Face Yoga Journal. These guides are a great way to bring face yoga into your life in a sustainable way. Each chapter introduces a new technique, and each technique takes just a minute a day.
My newer book, the Face Yoga Journal, also has space for you to record your goals and your progress, so it really helps you to make wellness and self-care a daily priority.
You can find both books via my online shop, as well as plenty of other resources to support you on your wellness journey.